The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise on a weekly basis.
That equates to 21 1/2 minutes 7 days a week or 30 minutes 5 days a week. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) only 21% of Americans reach that goal. So its no wonder that heart disease is the number 1 killer of Americans and the number of people diagnosed with heart disease has reached 28.1 million.
Exercise does not mean forcing yourself to go to the gym and do cardio for hours on end. That is actually counter intuitive (click here to see my post about weight training vs cardio) and can decrease heart health.
So what are the best forms of exercise for your heart?
- Improves circulation
- Improves cardiac output (aka how well your heart pumps)
- brisk walking, jogging, swimming
- Pretty much any activity that gets your body moving and increases circulation
2. Resistance (Weight) Training
- Reduces body fat, which can decrease strain on the heart
- Improves lean muscle mass (the heart is a muscle)
- Lowers "bad" LDL and raises "good" HDL cholesterol
- Using free weights (barbell, dumbbell), weight machines
- body weight movements such as squats, push ups, pull-ups
3. Flexibility, Mobility, Balance
- Prevents injury which could inhibit your ability to do the above two methods
- Improve circulation
- Decrease stress, therefore decrease blood pressure
- Dynamic and static stretching
- Tai chi